Jul 30, 2014

Man in Walmart Altercation in Court This Week

Defense goes after off-duty officer who drew his firearm.

The trial for an off-duty Kendall County sheriff’s deputy who got into a scuffle at the Oswego Walmart on Super Bowl Sunday began Monday.

. The two got into an argument over a delay at the express line after Thurmond went to retrieve a different carton of eggs during the transaction.

According to reports, Kendall County Sheriff's Deputy Craig French, a department veteran who serves as the public information officer, was also in line and he and Thurmond exchanged words. French, according to early reports, made sarcastic comments to Thurmond’s wife while she waited at the register for her husband. The exchange escalated into a shoving match. Thurmond admitted to shoving French to get him away from his wife, who was nine months pregnant with the couple's daughter. It was then, he said, that French, who was off duty at the time, pulled his gun.

911 tapes of the incident made available to Patch through a Freedom of Information Act request depict a scene of mass confusion, with French only revealing he was a sheriff's deputy after pulling his weapon. The sheriff's office is conducting an internal investigation into the incident and will release the results after the criminal trial of Thurmond is over.

Thurmond was charged with misdemeanor battery for making physical contact with another person in a threatening manner.

On Monday defense attorney Richard Irvin questioned French’s actions, according to the Beacon News. In assessing French’s behavior that day, Irvin pointed out French didn’t identify himself as a police officer until after his gun was drawn. He also never attempted to quiet down other customers, nor did he offer to help Nicole Thurmond, wife of Jason Thurmond, the paper reported.

Prosecutors rested their case Monday afternoon and Irvin is expected to present his case today. Thurmond and his wife are expected to testify.

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